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Chemotherapy is not usually the main treatment for most small intestine cancers. Chemotherapy is generally less effective than surgery for treating adenocarcinoma, the most common type of small intestine cancer.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to treat cancer. It is usually a systemic therapy that circulates throughout the body and destroys cancer cells, including those that may have broken away from the primary tumour.
Chemotherapy may be used:
Drugs, doses and schedules vary from person to person.
Because small intestine cancers are very uncommon, it is difficult to know which drugs work best. There is no standard drug therapy for treating small intestine cancer. Doctors may use chemotherapy drugs that work for colorectal or stomach cancer when treating small intestine adenocarcinoma cancers.
The most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat adenocarcinoma of the small intestine are:
The most common chemotherapy combinations used to treat small intestine adenocarcinomas usually include 5-FU. Some of the chemotherapy combinations that may be used include:
For more detailed information on specific drugs, go to sources of drug information.
Treatment with chemotherapy also depends on the type of small intestine cancer. Neuroendocrine tumours, small intestine lymphomas and GISTs are treated with different drugs.
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) is Canada’s only national, bilingual, toll-free service that offers personalized comprehensive cancer information in over 100 languages.